No one from Indian mission hurt in Bangladesh blasts

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) The external affairs ministry Saturday clarified that no one from the Indian High Commission was injured in the crude bomb attacks that took place Friday near where the Indian envoy was attending a function in Khulna, Bangladesh.

The bomb attacks took place 20 metres away from where a car hired by the High Commission was parked, said external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin at a media briefing here.

“…yesterday (Friday) while the high commissioner (Pankaj Saran) was attending a function in Khulna, there were crude bomb explosions approximately 20 meters away from where his car was parked.

“As per our information, nobody involved with the High Commission was injured, nor was the car damaged in any form,” he said, adding that the car did not belong to the High Commission and was a local car hired by the Indian mission.

The High Commissioner “continued with his engagements in Khulna. Today (Saturday) he is in Jessore visiting the Ramakrishna Mission there and he will fly back to Dhaka in accordance with his pre-scheduled programme”, Akbaruddin added.

Following the explosions, the high commissioner “received a large number of calls conveying concern to him and assuring him that all security will be provided to him and all High Commission officials”, the spokesperson said, adding: “So, we have no cause for concern there.”

The Indian High Commission is in touch with Bangladeshi authorities who have launched a probe.

“Let us wait for the outcome of those investigations before jumping to any conclusion whether this was even an attack related to the High Commission at all,” he said.

According to media reports, three people were injured when some miscreants hurled crude bombs in front of parked cars in Khulna while the high commissioner was addressing a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce and Industries building.

Police suspect it could be the handiwork of cadres of the Jamaat-e-Islami, ahead of their planned general strike in Khulna district.

Last month, a low-intensity crude bomb, later described by officials as a “firecracker”, had been hurled on the road outside the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka where Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was staying during his March 3-5 visit. No one was hurt in that incident, which took place during a two-day nationwide hartal or strike called by the Jamaat-e-Islami.

The fundamentalist Jamaat is protesting the conviction of three of its top leaders for 1971 war crimes.

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